My friends and co-workers are in the midst of Lent. Me? Just observing for now.
I’m Eastern Orthodox, which means my church follows a slightly different calendar. Orthodox Easter doesn’t happen until after Passover. So, along with my fellow Orthodox Christians in countries like Greece, Russia and Turkey, I won’t be celebrating Easter until May 1–five whole weeks after everyone else!
Growing up, it wasn’t easy explaining the different calendars at school. After all, only me, my sisters and two Greek kids were on the “delayed Easter” plan. My classmates always wanted to know: “Does that mean you celebrate Christmas on a different day too!?”
“Nope,” I’d say. “Just Easter.”
But I could tell they were a little bit suspicious. If I celebrated Easter on a different day, surely that meant birthdays, anniversaries and national holidays were in question too!
Nowadays, though, I don’t mind the Easter delay so much. For one thing, I can take full advantage of the post-Easter sales on jelly beans.
And there’s just something nice about observing Lent before Lent. It’s like a preview of sorts. The sight of New Yorkers with ashes on their forehead. The discussions of what to give up for Lent. The hint of spring and new beginnings in the air.
Just knowing others around me are in a hyper mode of reflection makes me more reflective too. So when Orthodox Lent finally approaches in mid-March, I think I’ll be ready.
How are you preparing for Easter? Share your Lent stories and Easter traditions below!